WWE NXT results, May 23, 2018: Fury turns to fear after Gargano accidentally collides with Candice
Was it worth it? That’s the question on the mind of Johnny Gargano after the beloved NXT Superstar vowed to continue his war with Tommaso Ciampa. His fateful decision thrilled the NXT Universe but caused no shortage of heartache and pain for his wife Candice LeRae, who got caught in the crossfire.
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TM61 def. Heavy Machinery
ORLANDO, Fla. — TM61’s new win-at-all-cost mentality appears to be here to stay. After picking up a controversial win against Street Profits weeks ago, Shane Thorne & Nick Miller used similarly illegal means to defeat Heavy Machinery, who had voiced their disapproval over TM61’s questionable tactics.
Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic were running on full power throughout the contest, putting TM61 on their heels with big knockdowns and double-team moves (including using Miller as a battering ram on Thorne while Thorne was stuck in the corner). Dozovic was on the verge of bringing his immense frame down upon Miller until Dozovic paused to wipe off sweat with TM61’s towel, giving Thorne an opening to kick him. Miller then jackknife-pinned the 330-pounder and threw his feet on the ropes for added leverage. Thorne helped keep Miller’s feet in place, outside the ref’s line of vision, and the three-count was administered, paving the way for TM61’s second shady win in as many matches.
Though they may be veering from their moral compass, TM61 are having no trouble finding the winner’s circle.
Lacey Evans def. Kairi Sane
Heading into her rematch with Kairi Sane, Lacey Evans had already thrown plenty of shade the way of the 2017 Mae Young Classic winner, suggesting Sane did not “belong” in NXT. Coming out of the bout, however, The Lady of NXT claimed something more meaningful: A victory over The Pirate Princess.
With their rivalry steadily intensifying in recent weeks, both Superstars traded hard chops (and a fair dose of trash talk) in the opening moments. Evans took the advantage, using painful submission moves to wear down Sane's shoulder and arm. As the battle roared on, Sane strung together a series of high-impact moves capped off by the Sliding D forearm. Evans avoided a pinning predicament by rolling out of the ring, but Sane kept on the attack, shoving Evans back into the ring and leaping off the top rope with the flying kabuki elbow.
The Lady of NXT beat Sane to the punch, however, countering the elbow with her own devastating knockout blow known as the Woman’s Right. The strike landed, The Pirate Princess went down for the count and Evans not only evened her one-on-one record with Sane, but also picked up the most monumental victory of her career.
Lars Sullivan def. Ricochet & Velveteen Dream in a Handicap Match
The race to get to the front of the line of would-be NXT Title contenders can make strange bedfellows, but it can also underscore bitter rivalries. Case in point: Foes Ricochet and Velveteen Dream teaming to battle Lars Sullivan. All three Superstars have the same end goal: to challenge champion Aleister Black. Yet, thanks to Sullivan’s rampage last week (where he viciously interrupted a match between Ricochet and Velveteen Dream) and by the decree of NXT General Manager William Regal, Ricochet and Velveteen Dream found themselves fighting side-by-side against the Rocky Mountain monster.
At first, Ricochet and Dream were on the same page, combining forces to unleash a mesmerizing attack on The Freak, counteracting his super-human strength with an aerial attack and eventually dropping Sullivan to the canvas. Velveteen Dream showed his true colors late in the match, however, after Ricochet tagged himself in as Dream was launching into a splash on Sullivan. The One and Only followed up with a stunning springboard 450 splash of his own but Dream quickly scooped up Ricochet and decimated him with a rolling Death Valley Driver. Velveteen Dream then berated Ricochet — calling him pathetic and accusing him of trying to “screw” Dream — before abandoning his partner, leaving Ricochet to fall to Sullivan’s Freak Accident.
By toppling two of NXT’s top Superstars at once — albeit, with the help of Dream’s betrayal — has Sullivan solidified his claim to challenge Black for the NXT Title?
Tommaso Ciampa caused Johnny Gargano to accidentally collide with wife Candice LeRae
After weeks of speculation about the future of his in-ring career, Johnny Gargano returned to NXT for the first time since being ambushed by Tommaso Ciampa to set the record straight. Accompanied by his wife Candice LeRae and wearing a neck brace, Gargano said the attack had caused him to wonder whether finishing the war with Ciampa was worth the physical and emotional toll. The NXT Universe made their opinion known with resounding “Yes!” chants, and after a moment of contemplation, Gargano agreed, tore off his neck brace and called Ciampa out to the ring.
Visibly shocked by Gargano’s decision, LeRae pleaded with him to reconsider, and as The Blackheart made his way to the ring, LeRae ran for help. She returned moments later with a swarm of NXT referees, who attempted to keep Gargano and Ciampa apart. Acting like a man possessed, Gargano darted around the ring and tried to get at Ciampa while LeRae begged her husband to think about their future. Her pleas appeared to be working until Ciampa, from inside the ring, continued to taunt Gargano, telling him to “be a good little boy” and listen to his wife.
Enraged, Gargano lunged toward the the ring but was immediately knocked off the apron by Ciampa. Gargano flew backward and collided with LeRae, causing her to hit hard on the steel entrance ramp. Gargano’s fury turned to fear as he tended to his hurt wife and shouted for help from NXT officials. Ciampa, meanwhile, slunk away through the NXT Universe, having created yet another heart-wrenching scene for the first couple of NXT.